home
RSS
TEDMED: Mortality gives life meaning
October 28th, 2011
05:04 PM ET

TEDMED: Mortality gives life meaning

Humans have a self-preservation instinct, a natural drive to survive. But we also have an awareness that there will come a day when all of those efforts will fail, and we will die.

"Death looms somewhere in the distance," said Dr. John Wynn, medical director for Cancer Psychiatry at the Swedish Cancer Institute of Seattle, Washington. "It pushes us to ask: What am I doing with my time?"

Wynn's talk on what death means for us was one of the last at TEDMED 2011. It forced sobering reflection on mortality at the end of a week of many enthusiastic presentations demonstrating technologies aimed at fighting diseases and thus prolonging life.

"Life is built around avoiding the simple, inevitable truth that you’re going to die," he said.

Children tend to become aware of death around age 7, Wynn said. With luck, their parents will teach them how to be safe and cooperate with others. These are skills they will carry with them throughout their lives, and will help them continue on their own even after their parents pass away.

We have to ask ourselves how and where will we spend our time and our energy, and carefully calculate sacrifices we make, Wynn said.

This isn't entirely a bad thing, he said. Our society thrives because we have found ways to cope with the awareness that we won't live forever: We are driven to be creative, collaborate with others and be masters of our environment. Fear of death can push us to build things, connect with others and create beauty.

"To ignore mortality puts the meaning of our lives in jeopardy," he said.


soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. used tires near me

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

    http://redirme.com/?to=http://www.postfallshealth.com

    May 5, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Vision Centers Near Me

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

    https://www.casaveronica.ro/resurse/redirect.php?id=579&url=arizonasvision.com

    May 5, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Eye Doctors

    http://yellowpages.staradvertiser.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=arizonasvision.com

    May 6, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. executive coach near me

    https://local.google.sm/url?q=https3A2F2Fmastermindformen.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 6, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sync vans

    I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

    https://map.google.im/url?sa=j&rct=j&url=https3A2F2Fsprintervanrepairshop.com&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGaY_nlK9ozc51fqwjiVdMaYZL7rg

    May 6, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. fedex office near me

    https://www.thaihealth.or.th/in_link.php?link=https://postfallswebsites.com

    May 6, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. New Forklift Parts California

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

    http://www.caribbeanmlslistings.com/util/displayadclick.aspx?id=11&url=https://forkliftrentalsnearme.com

    May 6, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. horse trailer body parts

    https://ascendents.net/?v=wLWhHnFu2PA

    May 6, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Forklift Maintenance California

    https://getlink.pro/v/hFYSMBB4r54

    May 6, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Craft Cider Companies

    http://track.rspread.com/t.aspx/subid/144024643/camid/270432/?url=https3A2F2Fhowtobrews.com

    May 6, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply to Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Five Points, Denver, CO


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.